International Development Conference 2015: ConflictED was held in Waterloo University, Canada. Masarrat Misbah and Ayesha Taslim participated in the conference. Masarrat Misbah was the keynote speaker. The other international speakers included Dr Nathan Funk, Associated Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, Rayan Aldred, President Canadian International Learning, Lucy Strictland from World Vision International’s Global Education in EmergenciesSspecialist based in Geneva, Isa Saadi Embombolo, Founder of Peace Club in Zambia, Sara Kamal, Social Development Specialist with a vast experience of working in Nacaragua, Uganda, Canada and Iran, Rozana Alrawas, a volunteer student who has worked in refugee camps in Lebanon and with food distribution programs for Syrian refugee children.
The Conference discussed barriers to accessing education in areas of conflict, and innovative ways to allow for skill training and school attendance despite such conflict. The conference navigated through the wide spectrum of speakers each with their own unique perspectives and stories on education, adversity, and conflict.
Masarrat Misbah shared that we have all faced adversity; it’s what we do to overcome adversity that determines our success. That success is not always measured in a tangible gain, such as money, position or power.
Focusing on the students’ community she said that Education is a choice to overcome adversity by improving ourselves through a learning process. Pursuing education in itself could create adversity as there are many roadblocks and challenges facing students. Almost all of the greatest success stories about overcoming adversity center on determination and identifying available resources to help.
In order to give practical demonstration of overcoming adversity she invited the participants to watch a documentary “Silent Veil”. The audience was highly touched watching the sad incidents happening and agreed that this was an extreme example of adversity. Masarrat Misbah shared that since she runs a successful business enterprise comprising 35 beauty parlors, she established DSF to serve the acid burn victims as a Corporate Social Responsibility. Later on family, friends and supporters pooled to take forward this initiative.
Through these available resource victims receive medical treatment, psychosocial support and vocational training for rehabilitation. Alongside a strong advocacy campaign focuses on elimination of violence against women. This is how extreme adversities are possible to overcome.
After the keynote address the full panel of speakers faced the students and the participants and answered questions related to their area of expertise.
During this visit Masarrat Misbah also addressed students of International Development in a class headed by Professor Prateep Kumar Nayak covering the topic “how information, technology in the area of beauty and aesthetics contributes to development)
A dinner was hosted by the Muslim students of the Wilfrid Laurier University. On all occasions students were encouraged to study the website of Depilex Smileagain Foundation and links through face book for extended advocacy of the issue of violence against women.
During her stay in Canada Masarrat Misbah was interviewed live on a radio channel. Roger TV and Rawal TV recorded interviews highlighting the mission of DSF. She also joined live broadcast in Voice of America to participate in a live discussion on the topic of problems faced by the global fraternity of females.